Note: The article has been translated from the Italian language with software
Sifting through some ancient publications, I came across a relatively singular fact involving Bregaglia.
I wanted to specify “relatively unique” due to the fact that the book entitled “History of the Missions of the Capuchin Friars of the Province of Brescia in the Rezia” written by Friar Clemente da Brescia in 1702 was precisely written in an era rich in popular beliefs , superstitions and beliefs in the evil one.
The case: Bregaglia year 1645
In the ninth book, chapter eight, we find a singular inscription. According to what was reported by the friar, in 1645 three bregagliotti were first arrested and then interrogated as “sorcerers”.
After a long interrogation, conducted with torture, they confessed that they could take the form of wolves causing murders and infanticides. In addition, it is specified that they were also the cause of various evils against livestock, which in fact caused it to fall from the crevasses.
Also on the basis of what was reported, the acusatori drew attention to the extreme cunning of those who, precisely at the right moments, could return to their human form, maintaining in any case their diabolical character causing misfortunes in Bregaglia.
As communicated by the friar they were caught by divine will, having themselves raised the doubt that most of the misdeeds that took place in Bregaglia were caused by the Capuchin Friars.
This fact demonstrates the state of fear and superstition that reigned even in the small Rhaetian valleys as in the specific case of Bregaglia in an era of profound contrast between the Catholic and Protestant religions that had begun to gain strength decades earlier.
The fact that no village is specified makes it difficult to identify the exact geographical area.